You’ve been calling on a new prospect for months, maybe longer with little to no success. You’ve been trying anything and everything to get a meeting with Mr. Big (aka the decision maker) but nothing seems to work. You keep trying because you know, that if you could just get in front him, he would see the value in doing business with you and your company.
Finally he agrees to meet. You know that if things do go well, you have the opportunity to acquire a big new client. If they don’t, it’s one and done, and months of persistence goes down the proverbial crapper.
The big day comes, you introduce yourself and exchange the all-important warm handshake and friendly smile. You start off with small talk about the weather or some other meaningless drivel as you quickly peruse the family photos and various sports memorabilia in his office looking for anything that offers common ground.
You’re under a lot of pressure and with so much at stake, what do you do?
You start talking, presenting, and featuring and benefitting the hell out of him. You talk about all your value, service, and technology. You spout out all the claims about being the “leading provider” of . . . . (fill in the blank) and how your company is “rated # 1” in . . . (fill in the blank), and that you are the “top performing” . . . (fill in the blank), Blah, blah, blah . .
BORING! WASTE OF TIME!
New flash, your elevator pitches, value propositions, and show-up-and-throw-up glitz and glamour presentations don’t cut it. Prospects don’t care, besides they probably know all this stuff already because chances are they did their homework.
Today’s prospects are more educated and more informed than ever. They are connected, self-sufficient, and highly impatient. They are conducting research, reaching out to their peers, reading blogs and participating in industry forums. They know all about the strengths and weaknesses of your products and services, your competitor’s offerings, and how each can address their specific problems.
Selling is becoming a prospect-driven buying process and the bar is being raised on what is expected from sales people. Prospects today will only value the conversation if you provide something relevant and meaningful. They don’t want to waste their valuable time listening to how great your company is. What they really want is a tailored approach that includes business and industry specific information highlighting how a particular technology or service can enhance ‘their’ business.
Next time you have an opportunity to meet with a prospect, don’t waste their time. Remember it’s less about you and more about them and what they need.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments.